Literary Analysis: Tone And Mood

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Literary Analysis: Tone And Mood - Quiz

This quiz will give you a chance to practice proficiency-like multiple choice questions dealing with tone and mood.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    View the power point presentation on tone and mood before taking the quiz.

  • 2. 

    Passage #1  “I shall throw you on a black ship and send you to the mainland, To King Echetos, destroyer of all mortal men, Who will cut off your nostrils with a sharp bronze sword; He will tear of your private parts and give them to the dogs to eat raw.”                 --Homer, The Odyssey Which word best describes the tone?  In other words,  how does the speaker feel about/toward the subject?

    • A.

      A) Threatening

    • B.

      B) Amused

    • C.

      C) Proud

    • D.

      D) Unsatisfied

    Correct Answer
    A. A) Threatening
    Explanation
    The passage contains a series of violent and gruesome threats, indicating a tone of hostility and menace. The speaker is expressing a desire to harm and humiliate the subject, making the tone threatening.

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  • 3. 

    Passage #2 “There were always children there, and I spent all my time with the children, only with the children. They were the children of the village where I lived, a whole gang of them who went to the local school. I was simply with them mostly, and I spent all my four years like that. I did not want anything else.”                 --Dostoyevsky, The Idiot Which word best describes the tone? In other words, how does the speaker feel about/toward the subject?

    • A.

      A) Amused

    • B.

      B) Reflective

    • C.

      C) Reverent

    • D.

      D) Remorseful

    Correct Answer
    B. B) Reflective
    Explanation
    The passage suggests that the speaker feels a sense of nostalgia or contemplation when reflecting on their time spent with the children. The use of phrases like "I spent all my time" and "I did not want anything else" implies a deep connection and fondness for the children. The speaker's tone is reflective as they look back on this period of their life.

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  • 4. 

    Passage #3 “They showered me this morning at the courthouse and last night at the jail. And I swear I believe they'd of washed my ears for me on the taxi over if they coulda found the facilities. Hoo boy, seems like every time they ship me someplace I gotta get scrubbed down before, after, and during the operation--and get back away from me with that thermometer, Sam.”                 --Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest    Which word best describes the tone? In other words, how does the speaker feel about/toward the subject?

    • A.

      A) disappointed

    • B.

      B) condescending

    • C.

      C) amused

    • D.

      D) annoyed

    Correct Answer
    C. C) amused
    Explanation
    The speaker's use of humor and exaggeration, as well as the sarcastic tone, suggests that they are amused by the situation. They make humorous remarks about being showered and having their ears washed, and they sarcastically tell someone to stay away with a thermometer. This indicates that the speaker finds the whole experience amusing rather than being disappointed, condescending, or annoyed.

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  • 5. 

    Passage #4 “Afterwards we will be as one animal of the forest and be so close that neither one can tell that one of us is one and not the other. Can you not feel my heart be your heart?”                 --Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls Which word best describes the tone? In other words, how does the speaker feel about/toward the subject?

    • A.

      A) somber

    • B.

      B) intimate

    • C.

      C) urgent

    • D.

      D) factual

    Correct Answer
    B. B) intimate
    Explanation
    The passage suggests a strong emotional connection between the speaker and the subject, emphasizing the desire to be so close that they are indistinguishable from each other. This conveys a sense of intimacy and closeness, making option B) intimate the best description of the tone.

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  • 6. 

    Passage #5 “But I felt after the novelty had worn off the Americans didn't really understand our music or our culture. Coming from a country where having central heating was considered posh and a refrigerator a luxury, Americans seemed to me to be strangely spoiled and 'old-fashioned.' They seemed to be lost in the forties and fifties. I expected to find Americans more forward and progressive but I was surprised to find many very set in their ways, just like their English counterparts.”                 --Davies, Kink Which word best describes the tone? In other words, how does the speaker feel about/toward the subject?

    • A.

      A) hopeless

    • B.

      B) remorseful

    • C.

      C) disappointed

    • D.

      D) sardonic

    Correct Answer
    C. C) disappointed
    Explanation
    The speaker feels disappointed towards the subject. The passage suggests that the speaker expected Americans to be more forward and progressive, but instead found them to be old-fashioned and set in their ways. The speaker's statement about Americans being strangely spoiled and 'old-fashioned' indicates a sense of disappointment in their lack of understanding of the speaker's music and culture.

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  • 7. 

    Passage #6 “Henri the painter was not French and his name was not Henri. Henri had so steeped himself in stories of the Left Bank in Paris that he lived there although he had never been there. Feverishly he followed in periodicals the Dadaist movements and schisms, the strangely feminine jealousies and religiousness, the obscurantisms of the forming and breaking schools. Regularly he revolted against outworn techniques and materials. “One season he threw out perspective. Another year he abandoned red, even as the mother of purple. Finally he gave up paint entirely. It was not known whether Henri was a good painter or not for he threw himself so violently into movements that he had little time left for painting of any kind.”                 --Steinbeck, Cannery Row Which word best describes the tone? In other words, how does the speaker feel about/toward the subject?

    • A.

      A) reverent

    • B.

      B) apprehensive

    • C.

      C) regretful

    • D.

      D) amused

    Correct Answer
    D. D) amused
    Explanation
    The speaker in the passage is amused by Henri the painter and his obsession with the Left Bank in Paris. The speaker describes Henri's actions and choices in an almost lighthearted and comical way, suggesting that they find Henri's behavior somewhat entertaining. This tone is reflected in the passage through phrases such as "feverishly he followed," "regularly he revolted," and "he threw himself so violently," which convey a sense of exaggeration and amusement.

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  • 8. 

    Passage #7 “My heart is like a singing bird Whose nest is a weathered shoot; My heart is like an apple-tree Whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit; My heart is like a rainbow shell That paddles in a halcyon [peaceful] sea; My heart is gladder than all these Because my love is come to me.”                 -Rossetti, “A Birthday” Which word best describes the tone? In other words, how does the speaker feel about/toward the subject?

    • A.

      A) Sorrow

    • B.

      B) Happiness

    • C.

      C) Excitement

    • D.

      D) Nervousness

    Correct Answer
    B. B) Happiness
    Explanation
    The speaker in the passage expresses joy and happiness through the use of vivid and positive imagery. The comparison of the heart to a singing bird, an apple-tree with abundant fruit, and a rainbow shell in a peaceful sea all convey a sense of delight and contentment. The final line "Because my love is come to me" further emphasizes the speaker's happiness, suggesting that the subject of the poem brings them great joy. Therefore, the word that best describes the tone of the passage is "Happiness."

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  • 9. 

    Passage #8 “There go the loves that wither [dry up], The old loves with wearier wings; And all dead years draw thither [there] And disastrous things; Dead dreams of days forsaken, Blind buds that snows have shaken, Wild leaves that winds have taken, Red strays of ruined springs. ... And love, grown faint and fretful With lips but half regretful Sighs, and with eyes forgetful Weeps that no loves endure [last].”                 -Swinburne, “The Garden of Proserpine” What mood do the details in the poem convey?

    • A.

      A) wastefulness and excess

    • B.

      B) Happiness

    • C.

      C) Sadness and despair

    • D.

      D) Distrust

    Correct Answer
    C. C) Sadness and despair
    Explanation
    The details in the poem, such as the withered loves, dead years, forsaken dreams, and ruined springs, evoke a sense of sadness and despair. The imagery of things that have been lost or destroyed creates a melancholic tone, suggesting that the overall mood of the poem is one of sadness and despair.

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  • 10. 

    Passage #9 “The house itself was far from the sprawling white mansion I remembered from my childhood.  It looked smaller.  The roof sagged and the plaster was cracked.  The windows to the living room, the foyer and the upstairs guest bathroom were broken, patched haphazardly with sheets of clear plastic or wooden boards nailed across the frames.  Like so much else in Kabul, my father’s house was the picture of fallen splendor.”                 -Hosseini, The Kite Runner   What mood is communicated through the details in this passage?

    • A.

      A) Detached

    • B.

      B) Sentimental

    • C.

      C) Threatening

    • D.

      D) Excited

    Correct Answer
    B. B) Sentimental
    Explanation
    The details in the passage, such as the sagging roof, cracked plaster, and broken windows, paint a picture of a once beautiful and grand house that has fallen into disrepair. This evokes a sense of nostalgia and longing, which are characteristic of a sentimental mood. The author's use of phrases like "sprawling white mansion" and "fallen splendor" further emphasize the sentimental tone of the passage.

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  • 11. 

    Passage #10 “The neighbors’ heads turned the afternoon the bus sputtered up the street and farted its way across our lot. . . .  Baba killed the engine and let the bus roll silently into our designated spot.  We sank in our seats, laughed until tears rolled down our cheeks, and, more important, until we were sure the neighbors weren’t watching anymore. The bus was a sad carcass of rusted metal, shattered windows replaced with black garbage bags, balding ties, and upholstery shredded down to the springs.”                   -Hosseini, The Kite Runner   What literary device used in this passage creates a giddy or silly mood?

    • A.

      A) The example of personification in line 1: “the bus . . . farted its way across our lot.”

    • B.

      B) The metaphor in line 4: “The bus was a sad carcass . . ."

    • C.

      C) The image in line 5: “upholstery shredded down to the springs.”

    • D.

      D) The idiom in line 2: “Baba Killed the engine. . .”

    Correct Answer
    A. A) The example of personification in line 1: “the bus . . . farted its way across our lot.”
    Explanation
    The example of personification in line 1, "the bus...farted its way across our lot," creates a giddy or silly mood because it gives human qualities to the bus, which is humorous and unexpected. The use of the word "farted" adds to the playful and lighthearted tone of the passage.

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  • 12. 

    Passage #11 “ . . . by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs.  How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavored to form?  His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful.  Beautiful!  Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun-white sockets in which they were set, his shriveled complexion and straight black lips.”                 -Shelley Frankenstein   What mood is communicated through the details in this passage?

    • A.

      A) Bitterness

    • B.

      B) Melancholy or sadness

    • C.

      C) Horror

    • D.

      D) Anger

    Correct Answer
    C. C) Horror
    Explanation
    The details in the passage, such as the description of the creature's appearance and the narrator's emotional reaction, create a sense of horror. The use of words like "wretch," "horrid contrast," and "shriveled complexion" evoke a feeling of fear and disgust. The narrator's inability to describe their emotions further emphasizes the overwhelming horror of the situation.

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